Premier of the Western Cape Alan Winde recently handed over hundreds of children’s books to Hanover Park Public Library near Cape Town.
The Western Cape Government is running a book donation drive named the Book Han(d)over Project.
Private companies and individuals have donated over 8 000 books to the massive campaign. They are being distributed to local schools and libraries.
“Developing a reading culture among children is of the utmost importance if we want to give them the best educational opportunities. South Africa has a long way to go in developing reading literacy and comprehension,” said Premier Winde.
The Premier said libraries are important in communities because they offer safe spaces where children and adults alike can expand their knowledge.
“Reading should not only be taking place at school, but in the home as well, and community libraries like the Hanover Park Library play an important role in ensuring that communities have access to books and encouraging reading among children,” he added.
Premier Winde thanked businesses and individuals in the Western Cape for supporting the book drive and helping it succeed. “As a result of the success, we are able to provide books to schools and libraries across the province.”
Donations of new or used children’s books in good condition in all languages, and in good condition as well as educational books, school textbooks, and dictionaries can be dropped off at the Western Cape Government Walk-In Centre at 7 Wale Street, Cape Town.
In 2017, the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study reported on South Africa’s poor literacy levels.
Nearly eight out of 10 Grade Four learners cannot read for meaning.
To address this, in his State of the Nation Address, President Cyril Ramaphosa called for the country to improve its literacy levels, starting with improving its reading capabilities.
He said early reading is the basic foundation that determines a child’s educational progress, through school, through higher education and into the workplace. aa